In 2021 we have seen an uptick in mass shooting coverage and sensationalism. However, one may think that the rate of violence has increased, but according to statista.com and data analysis. Mass shootings increase when the media increases coverage of mass shootings.
When you compare mass shootings to rates of media coverage, the parallels are astounding. With the intense news coverage that mass shootings receive and recent findings on contagion effects, it might be time to conclude that news media organizations could be promoting these crimes to happen more often.
Statistically, the contagion effect associated with media coverage and mass shootings seems to go up when content increased. In years when coverage is lower, the copycats decrease. Contagion effect is a situation where notoriety from media coverage spreads and influences other susceptible individuals. Most individuals who are receptive to committing such horrendous crimes are irrational and prone to emotional reactions triggered by the media influence.
Contagion theory assumes that people in a crowd act emotionally and irrationally because they come under the influence of the public or media. With intense news coverage that mass shootings receive and recent findings on contagion effects, it is essential to look at how news media organizations cover these crimes. Most crimes will be promoting “who” commits the shootings. This offer of fame may make a susceptible individual consider a horrendous crime when dealing with mental matters.
This phenomenon seems to amplify itself because media outlets make more money on fear and emotionalism. It is easier for politicians and media outlets to blame guns for these travesties. Politicians and media profit from one another in these circumstances. However, what would happen if we restricted the way the media covers mass shootings? Could we see a statistical betterment when it comes to the contagion effect and mass shootings?